Carousel

The boardwalk by the ocean has both beauty and elegance with an old carousel. I was lucky enough to ride the wooden horses in Asbury Park before they were sold.

The Jersey shore with its carnival allure will always live in my heart. Hot, giant pizza slices and flip flops on the wooden planks are hard to forget. Arcade games, beach braids and custard cones make me nostalgic for my girls to be young again.

The working family’s summer vacation to Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or Point Pleasant may beat any trip the wealthy take abroad. Tonight, I am still a Jersey girl.

Silence is golden

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To remain quiet on topics we’d rather not touch is good practice. It may seem ironic that my blog is about being personal. It’s quite consistent, really. I choose the topics and the content for this blog. I’m not responding to interview questions, and I’m not in dialogue with someone.

Poetry and other art forms give us the opportunity to disclose truths about ourselves, but not always. I’ve come to believe that art often allows us to enjoy a superficial level devoid of the messier emotions.

Consider the dreaded conversations with significant others. This culture makes us feel bad if we’re not airing our deepest thoughts and feelings to them. Are they interested? Will it make them feel more connected to us? Perhaps it will drive them to the hills and we’ll never see them again. Better to speak when needed.

“Should we renew our apartment lease?” he says. “Did you find somewhere else for us to live?” I say.

You get the point.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

 

Thunder then and now

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Thunder and white strikes of blinding light wake me. I can’t sleep now as my mind goes to how you always protected us.

On summer camping trips, when the storms came, we never got wet. There were canopies on picnic tables, tarps as rain drenched, hot soup, snug sleeping bags and always a dry deck of cards for play.

Loud crashing sounds now, and I lie endlessly awake, waiting for the storm to move into the distance. I wonder if you hear the thunder now, too. There was a time I knew what you thought about. I’m not so sure anymore. Time steals many things from us. One is our ability to think, remember and respond to all that is around us.

You will be back home in a few days, and a new normal will begin. The family will warm the soup, fluff the pillows and mind your every step to keep you from danger.

I’ve been keeping my hands clear from metal tent poles for years now. I’ve held flashlights in my sleep in case I need to move in the night. I’ve practiced taking care of myself for a very long time. Still, approaching storms make my heart race and wish for my father to tell me that everything will be all right.

Photo from Pixabay.

The oil painting: A parable

A young woman went into the market with a plan to buy an art canvas. She was new to painting, and needed an old canvas for practice. Her eyes were really just learning to discern beauty. She saw a dark canvas being sold at a good price. She thought that two or three coats of base would cover the old image. 

Looking closer, she saw a glimmer of blue in the corner. She knew something beautiful could be beneath. If she painted on top, after two layers of whitewash, she would never know what that picture was.

This parable was gifted to me as I prayed for discernment to a matter my younger daughter shared with me. The reason that the matter is so challenging is that we are looking at a surface layer. Many difficult questions require meticulous and painstaking probing to get passed. Which layer holds beauty? How deep do we need to go for clarity?

A red fox family

red-foxes-62941_640When I was little, my father killed a red fox because of a fear it could be rabid. I remember it came out at dusk behind our barn where we had some food scraps composting. Foxes will behave that way normally.

Others find foxes ruthless because they kill chickens. I’m sure I would be heartbroken if I owned chickens and the foxes snatched them. I know many farmers are very clever with fences and coops.

If I had a farm, I might compost food material far away from my house or contain it well. Cats and small dogs might need to stay inside mostly. I’ve read that foxes are quite smart and a bit on the lazy side. They’ll find food in the easiest way that they can.

Let’s think twice about how we can safely co-habitate with wildlife. Foxes are predators of other wildlife you might find even more bothersome.

Last night I dreamed I was running with the wild animals. We had a common purpose and I wasn’t afraid.

A better question

Instead of what is one’s purpose, the better question is what abilities of mine can put cash in my pocket and/or contribute to the greater good?

I’m not sure why, but this kept me awake a bit last night. We can get tripped up by believing popular questions deserve answers.